Overview of Multi-criteria Decision Analysis and Its Applications on Energy Systems

Ruojue Lin, Jingzheng Ren

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Energy systems are popularly studied to maintain and improve the energy supply, which is an essential and irreplaceable element for modern society. With the development of technology, stakeholders need to face more prioritization and optimization problems in the establishment, operation, and maintenance process of the energy system. To make various and complicated decisions with multiple criteria to consider in the life cycle of an energy system, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods have been widely applied. Since the MCDM method is used in the research and development process for an electricity utility company in 1991, MCDM methods have been extended, improved, and adopted in an increasing number of studies regarding the energy system. In order to provide a clear reference for researchers in the related field, this study overviewed 1995 literature solving problems related to the energy system by applying MCDM methods. The definition and classification of energy systems have been clearly explained with illustrations and examples. The general framework of MCDM is introduced, and the MCDM methods used in the studies concerning energy systems are summarized and explained. To comprehensively analyze the relative works of literature, all articles using MCDM methods to solve energy system-related problems are collected and analyzed by conducting a bibliometric analysis. In the bibliometric analysis, the co-citation networks of journals, publications, and authors and the co-occurrence network of keywords are examined and evaluated. As the result, the MCDM has been proven a feasible method for energy system; multi-criteria decision analysis for energy system has been shown as a heated topic, and the most highly cited papers, authors, research countries/regions, and sources are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy Systems Evaluation (Volume 2)
Subtitle of host publicationMulti-Criteria Decision Analysis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-67376-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-67375-8
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021

Publication series

NameGreen Energy and Technology
ISSN (Print)1865-3529
ISSN (Electronic)1865-3537


  • Energy
  • Energy system
  • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Multi-criteria decision-making
  • Sustainability assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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